Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Mums-to-be: Is your Autumn denim, bump ready?

You know I was never really into jeans myself.. well, not until recently anyway. I used to think they were uncomfortable and I always stuck to baggy, unflattering, misshapen jogging pants... which when I look back upon makes me somewhat cringe. I only found out lately that jeans aren't actually uncomfortable. Well, not the good kind anyway. See, I think I had a bad experience with a bad pair of jeans... and that ultimately put me off and well, that was responsible for my baggy, misshapen jogging bottom phase.. (Cringe - again!)..

Now I wear jeans a lot. I love skinny jeans the most and that is something I never thought I'd ever say! If you get a good pair - they are comfy and totally flattering and pretty much go with anything and everything which is a great bonus when you're a busy Mum with (very) little time to choose what you wear in the morning!

But what jeans when you're a Mum-to-be? Is it still possible to throw on a lovely pair of denim skinny's and a random top and still look stylish? Well.. I think it actually is. 

And below you will see that Blossom Mother and Child have shown me (and well, now you) exactly how.. They appear to stock a fabulous range of denim delights, that somehow makes me excited to be pregnant again next time around. It's funny how you find out about all the great maternity clothes and maternity products available after you've given birth isn't it?! >.<  Well - here's hoping that there are at least a few pregnant soon to be mums out there who have read this whilst they are still buying maternity clothes because these jeans look seriously stylish!

Which pair would you buy?

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There's a raccoon in my house!

I found a raccoon in my house and as cute as he was he couldn't stay, so I took him off to the park. On the way we found some chickens and the cute little raccoon made friends with these chickens.. He was a cute little raccoon and clearly friendly too, so we decided to let him stay after all.. Turns out he's the best little raccoon anyone could ever have! ;)


Ethans (I mean, the raccoon's) outfit is from Thumbelina Workshop - they sell the most cute little outfits I have possibly ever seen. I am in love with the raccoon design that they sent for Ethan and I adore the dragon which is seriously too cool! It's so easy to get on and off, all it has is a zip on the front. It's super soft and looks so comfy, so I left E in it all day and he loved it. I even took him to the post office in it and everyone that saw him thought he looked adorable. Their handmade costumes are a lovely alternative to the 'scary' sort of costumes out there perfect for Halloween! Typically available in sizes 6-36 months. And they also sell on etsy!

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Monday, 29 September 2014

Saturday Fun

It's rare that we have a Saturday all together. Adam usually works Saturdays and has every Sunday off instead, but this week we had a rare Saturday off as a family, which was nice. Wanting to make the most of it we headed to our local soft play centre for Ethan. 

We missed last weeks playgroup due to a last minute, *ahem*, tantrum.. And then we will miss this weeks too as we will be sadly attending Adams Grannys funeral. So we thought that soft play would be a nice way to get a bit of weekly interaction with other children in for E. 

He was a little nervous on arrival, he's only been to a few soft play centres before. But he soon forgot about his nerves and had a wonderful time. I took him down the 'big' slide as Daddy did it last time and looked utterly petrified, so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. And yep, the fuss and petrified look was most definitely reasonable! Those things, or at least this one, was utterly frightening. (I may be over exaggerating slightly - but it felt so fast!). ;)

I took a couple of pictures on my iPhone whilst we were there. They're not fabulous quality but they do make me smile when I look at them..

He had so much fun throwing balls around in the ball pit.

Fun on the carousel with Daddy.

I offered to take E on the go-karts and Daddy swiftly declined. I think he had much more fun then he would have people believe ;)

Yeah - I don't think the boats were a hit with these two. Look at their grumpy faces!

But they did try and like it, bless them ;)

The day ended with my in-laws round to us for dinner which was chips (and veg cakes for the veggies!) from the chip van and a few hours of card games, of which I didn't win any - boo! They also brought a birthday cake for Adam for his birthday which is Friday. We are going away to Rhodes on Saturday so it was the last time that Adams parents would be seeing him before his Grannys funeral on Tuesday. 
Hope you all had a lovely weekend whatever you got up to.

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Saturday, 27 September 2014

Home Decor: The Frames are (FINALLY) filled!

If you follow along via my Instagram (@alexbumptobaby) you'll probably already know that finally I have filled the frames that have sat up on my kitchen wall for what seems like, umm forever! It took us so long to decide and it took us even longer to find a spare minute to sit down and actually have a talk about what to fill them with. (That's the joys of busy family lives, eh?)

But after lots of to-ing and fro-ing we eventually decided to opt for black and white prints from our wedding day. The frames are massive so we didn't want to go for three huge pictures of ourselves, so what we did was turn a picture of our wedding rings into black and white and we now have that as the sort of centre-piece to our frames. I think this works better then what would have been three big photos of just us two. I also think it's a bit different, which I like.. ;) 

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Tips for talking to Children about Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a complicated and often intimidating one that can leave the most educated minds racing with questions. Therefore it’s no surprise that children may struggle with this particularly as it can be a lot to take in and understand.
We’ve put together some tips for dealing with this illness and talking to your children about it to hopefully make those tough discussions a little easier for them and for you. 

Try and keep things as simple as possible
Obviously depending on the age of your child, you will no doubt go into a different level of detail with them regarding the illness, what it is and what it entails. Don’t be afraid to keep things simple if you are struggling to explain and just tell them how it affects your loved one, rather than the science of it (though if they do ask further, it can be great for them to go into further detail). 
Be visual and use illustration examples
Explaining to your children what Alzheimer’s disease is can be made a lot easier if you can find useful visual tools and aids to illustrate it more clearly to them, as children thrive from visual examples. There’s a fantastic image here which signifies memory loss and can spark a really interesting conversation with your little ones. 
Involve the person’s caregiver to offer extra info and advice
If your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease has assisted living with Extra Care at Home or other great companies, it may be a really good idea to ask the caregiver for their advice when talking to children about the illness as they’re likely to have dealt with those issues in the past. They may even be willing to talk to the child or children themselves too which can provide a good insight. 
Encourage them to ask questions
They’ll no doubt have lots of questions along the way at various points, and it’s important that they feel comfortable enough to be able to voice them. This is another good way to avoid social faux pas or general slightly awkward moments which of course they won’t intend to create but are sometimes inevitable, especially with a topic like this.
Aim to keep the relationship between them going
It can often be quite tempting to refrain from taking your child to visit someone with an illness as complex as Alzheimer’s but you shouldn’t be tempted to give up and end the relationship. In fact, keeping the relationship as constant and similar as it always was can actually be a real comfort to the child and will help them learn a lot, too. 
Help them if they feel frustrated
They’re likely to struggle with the situation just as much as you, especially as they may not understand exactly what is going on, regardless of how many times you explain it to them. Remaining as calm as possible and being there for them when they are feeling particularly frustrated is really important. 

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Friday, 26 September 2014

All too much

On Wednesday evening I winded up in A&E after having somewhat of a very stressful day. So many things had happened to make it as stressful as it was, and trust me - it was a stressful ol'day indeed..

I'd been having heart palpitations since Sunday, which I'd sort of been ignoring. Then on Wednesday those palpitations turned into a horrible chest pain that when ever I spoke or coughed I'd get breathless and a bruised sort of pain in my chest.

As the time the pain just stressed me out further, as I worried that perhaps I'd done something serious to myself by getting myself into such a state. I phoned to talk to a medical professional who advised me to go straight to A&E just to be checked. And feeling rather embarrassed but worried and stressed by the pain all the same, off I went.

As I predicted (and thankfully) my heart is fine. The Doctor advised me that she believes my pain and palpitations are due to anxiety (of which I often struggle with) and stress (of which has definitely been around a lot lately).

And this is sort of what I expected. I'm less stressed to know that medically all is well. But annoyed that I've left myself get into such a stressed state that my body, specifically my heart is suffering.

Obviously, the best cure for stress is to relax.. But if you're a parent and you're reading this then you'll know that that just isn't always possible.

I have 2 jobs (3 if you count being a Mum and 4 if you count how much I help my Husband out with his other job), a toddler, a Husband, a house (including housework), 4 cats (that let me tell you.. are being absolute buggers lately! - yes, it's true cats can be oh so very hard work when they want to be!) and lots of other things going on. But that is just life. Family life is like that. It's only going to get busier, not quieter, not more relaxed. I even want another child, so when he or she decides to come along it's definitely not getting any more relaxed!

So I've been having a think.. how can I stop myself and my body getting beyond stressed out to the point where I am sitting for four hours by myself in a hospital, bored out of my brain, waiting to be told that I somehow need to relax..

And the answer is quite simply.. by brushing myself down, taking a deep breath and re-adjusting my mind set. I mean, if the cat wants to smash an ornament, that's fine - shouting about it isn't going to get it fixed. If the cat wants to poo behind the TV cabinet where I can't reach, all over the wires so that the electricity goes out for a a few hours - that's fine - I can't turn back time and somehow predict where she's going to poop. I can only try and teach her not to do it behind the bloody TV or in the house at all (in a perhaps calmer manner). If Ethan throws his lunch on the floor, that's fine - it's his loss and nobody can say I didn't provide him a meal..  The list really does go on...

But basically, I need to learn to let it go, quicker. I need to stop letting things that I can't now change bother me so much. I need to calm down.

And I will.

Because if I don't, I will drive myself and my Husband mad. I won't be the Mum to Ethan that I want to be. Or the wife I want to be. Or the type of person as a whole that I want to be either.

Family life is stressful, yes. But I've learnt that what really matters is the way in which you approach that mostly unavoidable stress!

And to cheer me up even further here's a very blurry picture I took a while back of Ethan and I. This is one of the many many out take photos that I took whilst trying to get my blog bio picture. It just goes to show that the 'perfect' picture takes several slightly nutty attempts.. ;)

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